Sunday, 26 April 2015

We are Norman church spotting in Norfolk - Cawston and Marsham

As of Thursday, we are settled in a beautiful Caravan Club CL in Cawston,
St Agnes church tower in Cawston 
Norfolk. The site used to be sidings and a station house for a railway line, now dismantled and reimagined as The Marriott's Way - a 26 mile long footpath / cyclepath / bridleway that goes from Norwich to Aylesham. The Way is just behind the hedge behind our caravan with the gate leading onto it some 20 metres from the campsite gate - even more convenient than The Cuckoo Trail was from The Homestead campsite! Looking out the opposite way, we can see the tower of the 14th century St Agnes church. At 120ft, apparently it is the second tallest in Norfolk.

If you want to pinpoint us from home, we are on Ordnance Survey
Creatively woven signpost 
Explorer map 238 which I know because of a wonderful information pack put together by the CL owners, Claire and Tim! Together with lots of local guide booklets, we also have the loan of some walking and cycling route leaflets for the duration of our stay. Yesterday we undertook a six mile walk around the next-door village of Marsham, one of the 'Out And About Broadland' series. A well thought out walk, we were guided through heathland ablaze with yellow gorse flowers, past cute village cottages and a sprinkling of posh houses, through the churchyard of the 13th century All Saints, over windswept agricultural land where we attempted to identify the seedling crops, and into pretty dense woodland which felt extremely old. The bridleway sign pictured had been creatively reinstated in the woodland after its pillar fell down. The thatched boathouse below was in the grounds of the Cawston Psychiatric hospital. Someone had also partly hidden a scraggy toy dog in the hedge here which made us jump! En route Dave spotted a Muntjac deer and I spotted a Roe deer. Less excitingly, I saw a squirrel and Dave a rabbit! Rabbits appear on the campsite in early evening too and one is the prettiest golden-brown colour. We also have a speckled thrush - I haven't seen another for years.

Thatched boathouse 
Our other two afternoons have seen us cycling. Thursday we explored The Marriott's Way for a few miles in the Norwich direction, and Friday we went the other way, to Aylesham. It is not tarmac at this end so the surface is a mix of earth, rock and thin sand. All perfectly rideable although a bit juddery in places! I was very proud of us for managing to get all our shopping on Friday without using the car. Firstly we took a walk into Cawston which is only a couple of hundred metres. There is an excellent deli-patisserie-cafe, All Things Nice, with lots of local produce. Then, the other side of Cawston, is a Londis incorporating a Post Office. After lunch, our cycle to Aylesham enabled us to reconnoitre the Bure Valley Railway station and find the cycle-locking points (they're on the platform), before nipping into Tesco to pick up the few things we hadn't found in Cawston. I saw a Morgan in the car park. I have a photo, but the picture seems too big for the 2G wifi on our Osprey.

This afternoon we're off to visit Dave's Dad in Sheringham. I'm fairly certain we'll go by car and we plan to see some of Norwich on Tuesday. We've got several leaflets for the city in our pack too.

Bailey at The Siding with The Marriott's Way behind the hedge 

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